The Italian manager began his career in Serie C, but quickly worked his way up to the top division.
In an interview with the Chelsea website, he spoke about his progression through different leagues in football:
"Stia is a small village near to Arrezo in Tuscany.
"It was my first team where I worked as a coach. At first I only went there because I was a friend of the captain and I did not know if it would be enjoyable but after one or two months, I realised that I liked it very much.
"I enjoyed my work in banking for the first years but then the passion for the football was really more important than that job.
"Every club after my job at Stia was another step so every season was a challenge. If you went back to those first clubs then, would you recognise the style of play from my teams now? Maybe yes, but every experience took me forward and improved it and the team took steps forward. In the end each experience informed me.
"Maybe the fundamental idea then was the same as now but of course it is really different to play the same football with the players of Serie C than with the players of Chelsea. Maybe the football at the match seems different, but the idea was the same."